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South Punjab Forest Company and National Rural Support Programme sign MoU to improve forest cover
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To boost climate change defences by improving the forest cover of Punjab, South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday.
The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive Officers of both the organizations, Tahir Rasheed, SPFC and Dr. Rashid Bajwa, NRSP, in the presence of senior representatives of World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Arsalan Alfred Ni, Senior Advisor, Private Sector Facility, Green Climate Fund (GCF) was briefed about the objectives of this partnership. Arsalan appreciated the initiative and expressed higher hopes of developing environmental sensitive projects by Pakistan.
Tahir Rasheed, CEO of SPFC, while commending the work of NRSP in mitigating poverty, stressed on the fact that the mandate of NRSP is in-line with the mission of SPFC, as SPFC plans to create 15,000 direct and indirect green jobs in South Punjab and lead to
revenue generation of Rs. 242 Billion, which will help to eradicate poverty in South Punjab.
“SPFC’s initiative will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 ‘No Poverty’ as poverty will be substantially reduced through the influx of billions of rupees; SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’ as 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide will be sequestered; and SDG 15 ‘Life on Land’ which calls to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” he said.
Dr. Rashid Bajwa thanked SPFC and dignitaries from GCF and WWF-Pakistan for attending the signing ceremony. He believed that the initiative taken by the Government of Punjab will help to restore the dwindling forests and also helping to create rural jobs for the community.
As NRSP’s GCF accreditation is currently under process, the understanding between SPFC and NRSP will explore synergies to secure climate finance that will be utilized in the forestry sector to help reduce the vulnerability of Punjab to climate change.
The GCF is established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assist the developing countries to adapt and mitigate climate change. GCF will help to raise climate finance of up to US $100 billion a year by 2020.
NRSP is the largest rural support and poverty alleviation programme of the country with presence in 65 rural districts
SPFC, a Lahore-based company, aims to stimulate private sector investments alongside public money to reduce deforestation in Punjab and to combine forest conservation with sustainable economic development. The investment objective of the company is to encourage the investment in assets that can be established and managed on an environmentally and socially sustainable basis.